Whether you’re just starting your business or have been running one for a long time, it’s important to create and maintain your brand identity. A brand identity is, in the words of branding professional Marty Neumeier, “the outward expression of a brand” through visual means like trademarks, name, and communication. A business’ brand is how your business looks, feels, and speaks to your target audience—depending on the business you’re running, it could even extend to sound, taste, and smell.
Your brand identity is how you communicate to the world who and what you are, so it’s something you cannot neglect. Building one can be a challenge, but you’ll have one made in no time by following these steps and doing your research.
To start building a brand, you need to make a brand strategy. This details what your goals are and how you’re going to reach them. There are three parts to a brand strategy: the brand heart (purpose, vision, mission, and values), the brand messaging (voice, personality, tagline, value prop, and messaging pillars), and the brand identity (logo, color, typography, and other visual elements). All of this acts as foundational work for your overall brand, especially the brand heart and brand messaging, and will help you figure out what you’re trying to tell your audience so that you can convey your message properly.
Once your brand strategy is written up, you can work on your brand identity. Finding this identity means poking and prodding at each phase of your brand, examining them philosophically and critically to determine the state of your identity and how well it aligns with your goals. When building a brand identity, you need to understand how your brand is perceived by others internally and externally. The only way you can understand this and move forward successfully is by getting an honest reflection of how you’re doing presently from your employees, stakeholders, and customers.
The persona of your brand is the face your business is showing the world. This persona is interacting with your target audience in a way that accurately reflects upon your business; it should communicate who you are to others. This doesn’t just reflect what your brand wants to present: it’s also build based on what your customers want to engage with or are used to interacting with. Your brand persona should resonate with your customer base to be effective. The customers aren’t choosing everything about your brand, but your branding decisions should show that you understand what your customers want, need, and value.